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Huckworthy Cross: a wayside cross 1.4km SSW of Sampford Spiney village

A Scheduled Monument in Sampford Spiney, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5214 / 50°31'17"N

Longitude: -4.0753 / 4°4'31"W

OS Eastings: 252978.451529

OS Northings: 71127.057831

OS Grid: SX529711

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.JH1S

Mapcode Global: FRA 27CP.64R

Entry Name: Huckworthy Cross: a wayside cross 1.4km SSW of Sampford Spiney village

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1975

Last Amended: 26 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008928

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24813

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sampford Spiney

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

The monument includes a wayside cross formed from a single piece of
coarse-grained granite, set on a turf mound at a junction of minor roads at
the western edge of Huckworthy Common. The mound, which is 0.7m above the road
surface, forms the southern apex of a grassy triangle.
The shaft of the cross is square in section measuring 0.33m across, and has a
slight lean to the east. The cross has a stumpy head and arms, and although
both arms and the head have been damaged, the general stumpiness is likely to
be an original feature. The shaft, which is firmly set, disappears into the
turf, and there is no visible sign of a socket stone. However, where the turf
mound has been cut by traffic rounding the cross, some stones are visible
in the exposed vertical face approximately 0.4m below the base of the visible
shaft. These may be part of a revetment. The arms of the cross are aligned
due north-south.
The total visible height of the cross is 1.9m. The total width of the arms
is 0.5m, with the northern arm extending to a maximum of 0.12m from the shaft
and the southern arm to a maximum of 0.09m. The maximum vertical depth of the
northern arm is 0.22m and of the southern arm 0.195m. The head extends to a
maximum of 0.16m above the arms. There is an Ordnance Survey bench mark cut
on the southern face of the shaft. The top of the bench mark is 0.42m above
turf level. There is a possible mark on the west face of the shaft, close to
the northern arm, and another on the north face of the shaft, 0.82m above the
turf. These may represent early engravings.
Huckworthy Cross is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and,
because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most
complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The
great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence
for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards.
The well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later
industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the
pattern of land use through time.
Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking settlements, or on routes which might have a more specifically
religious function, including those providing access to religious sites for
parishioners and funeral processions, or marking long distance routes
frequented on pilgrimages.
Over 110 examples of wayside crosses are known on Dartmoor, where they form
the commonest type of stone cross. Almost all of the wayside crosses on the
Moor take the form of a `Latin' cross, in which the cross-head itself is
shaped within the projecting arms of an unenclosed cross.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions.
All wayside crosses on the Moor which survive as earth-fast monuments, except
those which are extremely damaged and removed from their original locations,
are considered worthy of protection.

Despite some damage in antiquity, Huckworthy Cross is an impressive medieval
wayside cross, most likely in its original position at a junction of routes. A
published photographic record of the cross exists from c.1900.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Crossing, W, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, (1902), 69
Crossing, W, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, (1902)
Crossing, W, The Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Borders, (1892), 78
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 314

Source: Historic England

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